By: Movie Snurb (Two Beers) –
Poor Ruth (Melanie Lynskey), she doesn’t have a great life but she does alright. She’s lonely and seems kind of down most of the time, mainly because people everywhere suck. At her job, and in her neighborhood where she has a sign in her yard saying pick up after your dog and people don’t. All Ruth wants is for people to not be assholes, yet one night someone breaks into her house and steals her laptop and her silver (a family heirloom). She enlists the help of her eccentric neighbor Tony (Elijah Wood) to track down the people that stole her stuff to get it back and hopefully show that it’s not ok to be an asshole.
This is probably my favorite thing I’ve seen Elijah Wood in since The Lord of the Rings trilogy. He’s having so much fun playing the weird loner who loves Karate, Throwing Stars, and Nunchakus. He wears tinted glasses and has a long braided rattail. Wood is by far the best thing about this film, his interactions with Ruth are oddly funny. Melanie Lynskey is also great as the lead in this film. Most things I’ve seen her in she’s been relegated to a supporting role, but in this film we get to see what a comedic talent Lynskey is. Even though she’s playing the humor straight-faced, she pulls it off with ease. The whole cast is great, but the two leads carry this film.
The writing is equal parts dark and hilarious. Watching a man get his hand blown off and then another man stabbed repeatedly isn’t funny, but this film is written in a way that makes it quite funny. This is Macon Blair’s first major directing outing and his second writing gig. There’s definitely talent here, both writing and directing. I think we’ll be seeing much more of Macon in the future.
There’s plenty of dark comedies out there, but this one felt fresh. Part of that is probably because it’s a Netflix original film, which is still something we’re all getting used to. However, the story feels fresh, and relevant. We’re in a society that feels very vain and self-involved. In this day and age of social networking and global connectivity, allowing everyone to do everything with total anonymity, we’ve forgotten that other people have feelings. It’s nice to watch a film that comments on this behavior with such dark yet satisfying comedy.
With a run time of 96 minutes with credits, the film feels a little light and at times rushed. The ending felt hurried; a part of me wishes we had more time with Tony and we could’ve gotten to know him more. There could’ve been a little more time spent on character development, not only with Tony but a few other characters. Plus, we only get a few minutes with Jane Levy, and I feel like she’s too much a talent to have such little screen time.
Even with the short run time, this film is something everyone should watch if they’re tired of everyone everywhere being terrible to each other. I just want people to not be assholes!
I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore (2017) Drinking Game
Take a Drink: every time someone says ‘asshole’.
Take a Drink: for every shot of Kevin (Tony’s Dog)
Do a Shot: every time someone is shot or stabbed.
Do a Shot: for every interaction Ruth has with the police.